Members of the Parliamentary Staff Association Of Nigeria, PASSAN, on Tuesday locked the gate of the Benue state House of Assembly Makurdi, protesting against lack of financial independence for State Houses of Assembly across Nigeria.
Addressing the Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba on behalf of the protesters, PASSAN Chairman, Benue State Chapter, Mr Francis Adole said the agitation which was going on simultaneously in Nigeria including the National Assembly would continue until their demand was granted. The protesters who carried placards with incriptions like no autonomy, no legislation and were chanting solidarity songs insisted that the Executive Order no. 10 signed by president Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 to give financial autonomy to the state Legislature and Judiciary of states must be implemented. He handed a copy of their complaint to the Speaker for onward transmission to the Federal Government.
Responding, Speaker Titus Uba who acknowledged that the protest was peaceful however expressed concerns that the Lawmakers had some serious Legislative businesses to do on Tuesday not knowing that the Assembly was shutdown indefinitely. He said the Governors were not opposed to the financial autonomy of the state legislature and they were working out modalities to come up with a template that would be suitable for both sides (Executive and the Legislature), assuring that the process would be completed in two weeks time.
Rt. Hon. Uba Said PASSAN was exercising their civic rights but should continue to do it within the ambit of the law since they refused to shift ground and the Speaker promised to convey their message accordingly to the Federal Government.
The Speaker and his fellow Legislators went back as the Benue House of Assembly remained closed indefinitely until financial independence of the state Legislature will be granted them as necessitated d by PASSAN